The moment has come that many of you have been waiting for – full disclosure of SharePoint 2010! Truth be told, many of us in Redmond have been anxiously waiting for this day, because now we can talk freely about SharePoint 2010 to our customers and partners.
There’s a lot of exciting news being announced today and a lot of great content will go live in a number of places. Keep in mind that while we are unveiling SharePoint 2010 today, the public beta won’t be available until next month. To get ready for that, I recommend checking out the following places for SharePoint 2010 news, information and content:
Top SharePoint 2010 Resources
– http://blogs.msdn.com/sharepoint. Check out Jeff Teper’s final installment of SharePoint 2010 where he describes many of the features that make up this release.
– http://sharepoint2010.microsoft.com/Pages/default.aspx. Demo videos, feature descriptions, pre-beta evaluation guides.
– http://www.mssharepointdeveloper.com. The place for developers to get started with SharePoint 2010.
– http://www.mssharepointitpro.com. The place for IT Professionals to get started with SharePoint 2010.
– http://www.mssharepointforums.com. The place to ask the Microsoft and SharePoint community questions.
Now the part that I’ve been personally waiting for.
My Top 12 Favorite Investments of SharePoint 2010
SharePoint 2010 is the biggest release of SharePoint… ever. So trying to numerate all the features is an exercise in futility. The pre-beta evaluation guide highlights some of the top features if you’re looking for a longer list. Here are my personal favorite SharePoint 2010 investment areas in no particular order:
Wow. SharePoint 2010 ships with a modern User Interface that is cross-browser compatible, smooth and interactive. By using AJAX and Silverlight, it really makes it easy to work with. The hero features that really makes the user experience intuitive for end-users is the Ribbon. With the Ribbon, users can easily add, modify and interact with content in SharePoint. It’s candy. Another hidden gem is our investment in a true multi-lingual user interface. Once you have the language packs installed and you set the appropriate languages on the sites, end users will be able to interact with SharePoint in the language of their choice. Last but not least, I’m excited about the investments we’ve made for mobile devices.
Rich My Sites with activity feeds, colleague tracking and ratings, tagging to taxonomy and noteboards on list items are just a few of the investments we’ve made here. Improved blogs, enterprise wikis and the ability to surface all this rich content through metadata navigation, tag clouds and search really make the SharePoint social investments stand out. It’s not just about siloed social investments; what makes this set of investments killer is the fact that it’s integrated with the rest of the platform.
Web Content Management
With SharePoint 2010, it’s really easy to create and manage web pages. The Ribbon makes it intuitive, features likes one-click page creation and the ability to swap page-layouts very easily improve web content management productivity. Of course, features like ratings and tagging apply to web pages. Of course, we support WCAG 2.0 AA and allow users to comply with XHTML standards.
Digital Asset Management
SharePoint 2010 introduces a rich set of rich media investments. 🙂 We enable you to stream videos right from SharePoint with our investments in bit-throttling. Our Asset libraries also give a nice User Interface to navigate through and interact with rich media.
Business Connectivity Services (BCS)
Wow. In many ways, I personally think this is one of the “sleeper” killer features of SharePoint 2010. BCS takes the BDC in SharePoint 2007 to another level with the introduction of read/write capability, tools to create external entities and client integration. Entities can easily be created in SharePoint Designer to connect to SQL and other LOB systems. Once an entity is created, this data can be exposed in SharePoint in the form of external lists (a new type of list in SharePoint 2010) as well Office client applications like Outlook for a read/write experience. SharePoint Workspace can also take these external lists offline.
Visual Studio 2010 Tools for SharePoint.
This is something developers have asked for and we listened and delivered in this version. With the SharePoint 2010 release, developers can develop with Visual Studio 2010 the same way they would develop any other ASP.NET application. We will ship more than a dozen project templates to help developers accelerate development; one of my favorite templates is the Visual Web Part template. The name says it all. 🙂 Developers can now have an F5 experience and easily debug and deploy their code. We have also made investments to support Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) to help you with team source control and building software. I almost forgot to mention that developers can develop on 64-bit Vista and Windows 7. 🙂
Above and beyond the tools, we’ve done a number of things to make SharePoint a great developer platform. Support for BCS, REST and LINQ are just a few examples. The developer dashboard allows developers to test their code in-context to make sure it runs the way you want; effectively, it provides a stack-trace of your application. The remote client OM allows developers to write code that interacts with SharePoint that doesn’t run in the same box. This is super helpful for Silverlight/SharePoint development. These are just a a few of the examples that make SharePoint a great developer platform.
IT Pro Investments.
SharePoint 2010 ships with a number of tools to help IT Professionals manage large SharePoint deployments. Windows PowerShell support, health analyzers, reporting and a streamlined Central Admin are a just a few examples. The investment in large lists and giving IT the ability to govern how content & applications are accessed and loaded are equally important. For example, with SharePoint 2010, we support million+ list items in a single list. To help IT govern how those items are accessed, we’ve introduced resource throttling for IT to be able to limit the number of items accessed in a view, for example. Another area of investment is flexible upgrade and deployment. Our aim is to make upgrade a smooth and predictable experience. In that respect, features like Visual Upgrade and Upgrade Checker have been introduced.
Power User Power
Many of you probably noticed that we introduced a new workload called “Composites”. “Composites” represents all the no-code solutions that can be composed on the SharePoint platform by taking advantage of all the integrated set of capabilities we provide. Improved InfoPath Forms, BCS, Out-of-the-box Web Parts, Workflow are just a few examples of the capabilities that help Power Users create custom solutions. Some other really powerful new capabilities in SharePoint 2010 include Visio Services and Access Services. As their names imply, these capabilities allow users to publish Access and Visio applications to SharePoint that can then accessed by other users through a browser. Very powerful stuff! Along with all the platform capabilities, we’ve invested in a number of tools including SharePoint Designer (which is free for all SharePoint customers) as well as the browser itself to help users create solutions easily. For example, users will be able to create new sites and mash-ups much more easily in the browser.
Sandboxed solutions allow organizations to safely allow site administrators to upload custom code. This code runs in its own “sandbox” and cannot impact other sites. Solutions can also be given a certain number of resources to restrict it from taking up too many resources. Sandboxed solutions are also limited to partially trusted code and have access to a more limited set of APIs than full trust solutions.
One of the big investment areas across the board with SharePoint 2010 is the investment in hosting and multi-tenancy. Because of this investment, we will have a very high degree of consistency between what end user features we offer with SharePoint 2010 on-premises and the 2010 wave of SharePoint Online technology. For example, Enterprise CAL features like InfoPath Forms Services and Excel Services that are absent today in the SharePoint 2007 online version will be present in the 2010 wave. Not only that, but the customization and extensibility experience for SharePoint Online will be greatly enhanced in the 2010 wave with our investments in Sandboxed Solutions and Power User features and tools.
Office 2010 Integration
I wrote a rather detailed post of my top Office 2010 features that you should check out for more detail. To summarize, some of the new integration features that excite me are SharePoint Workspace, SharePoint integration w/ Backstage (tagging, noteboard, etc), Office Web Applications hosted on SharePoint, PowerPoint Broadcasting w/ SharePoint and BCS integration with Word.
Here’s a pointer to the deck I presented at the SharePoint Conference this week.